Insurance companies will cover just about anything, but no legitimate insurer has come up with a plan to pay off your traffic tickets, mostly because that might seem like the insurer is tacitly encouraging illegal behavior. But that hasn’t stopped a handful of businesses from popping up, offering to reimburse you for traffic and parking tickets in exchange for a monthly fee.
Granted, two of the companies we’ve looked at don’t position themselves as actual insurance companies, though it’s a dubious distinction at best.
One, a California operation called TicketsBite charges a monthly membership fee that ranges from $8 to $29. While the company may deny this is actual insurance, it uses terms like “deductible” and “good driver discount” that are not used much outside of the insurance industry. Its website actually has the following text: “You wouldn’t go without car or home insurance, so don’t go without ticket protection either!” To us, that implies that this is an insurance product.
“You can call it whatever you want, but if it’s insurance you have to be licensed,” a California Department of Insurance rep told CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming about TicketBites, adding that “You cannot be indemnified against the commission of a crime.”
The TicketBites website contains testimonials from supposedly satisfied customers whose claims were paid by the company. However, CBS Philadelphia’s Jim Donovan reports that TicketBites has never actually paid off a claim, and now the owner of the company is no longer returning phone calls. Additionally, the state of California has issued a cease-and-desist notice to TicketBites, reports Donovan.
A second operation called TraffiCare International appears to be slightly more professional — there’s an actual sample contract available for potential customers on the company website — but is still not a deal worth paying for.
First off, the company does not actually list any specific pricing on the site. That information is apparently only divulged when you contact the company to purchase the service.
The service also doesn’t cover the most expensive tickets you could face — parking in a handicap spot, going more than 15 mph over the speed limit, driving without a license, driving without insurance, anything that a law enforcement officer might deem “reckless” — and puts limits on things like parking meter violations (you won’t get reimbursed for a parking ticket if it was issued more than 10 minutes after the meter expired) and red light cameras (if the light has been red for longer than two seconds, there’s no reimbursement.
Speaking of red light cameras, TraffiCare won’t pay for violations caught by those devices in California, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Jersey, and New York.
As some handsome devil says in the above video, “You’re better off just obeying the traffic laws and paying the fines when you don’t.”